In the latest of this season’s Thursday features, Gary Heatly catches up with Robbie Birrell at Freuchie CC…
Freuchie CC have a long and illustrious history in Scottish cricket and the 2021 season has started very well for the Fife outfit.
The first XI defeated Strathmore last Saturday to notch up their seventh win from seven completed games in the Strathmore & Perthshire N-E Championship to leave them top of the table.
Captain Ian Stonebridge led the way in that one with 60 at Freuchie Park as the home side recovered from 60-5 to post a competitive looking 180-9 from their 45 overs batting first.
Opening bowler Robbie Wright then set the tone in Strathmore’s reply and ended up with figures of 4-35 as the visitors were all out for 131.
That triumph came off the back of wins over Arbroath United, Dundee HSFP, Falkland, Perth Doo’cot, Kinloch and Gordonians.
There is still a long way to go in the league, of course, but there is certainly reason to be cheerful at the club.
“The first XI are doing well, the second XI is doing well and the junior section is growing all of the time while at that level we link up with Glenrothes CC at some age-grades to get as many youngsters playing the game as possible,” club stalwart Robbie Birrell explains.
“Last summer we did not get in that much cricket because of the pandemic, but everyone stayed positive and seems to have come into this season with a renewed passion for the sport and playing for the club and that is great.
“We have a new net system going in at the ground while we have new sightscreens, so Freuchie is a good place to play just now and everyone is enjoying it.
“Robbie Wiseman is one young player who has broken into the first XI and has made some good contributions this year while other young players are making their way in the second XI and that is vital for the future of the club.
“Having guys like that performing well also keeps the older guys on our toes as we know we have to play well to keep our spot bin the first team.
“We are pleased that the top team has won seven league games in a row, but we know that there is a long way to go and there are some good teams in the division, so we will just keep going and see where it takes us.”
Two victories so far this summer that perhaps typify the spirit in the Freuchie first XI – and in the club in general – were the ones over Arbroath United and Perth Doo’cot.
In the former, Freuchie posted 156 all out at Lochlands and then restricted the hosts to 155 all out to win by one run while in the latter at Doo’cott Park they had to scrap too.
Chasing 97 to win, Freuchie were in danger of losing, but last wicket pair Scott Birrell (8 not out) and Alan Duncan (1 not out) saw them up to 98-9 and a one wicket win.
This Saturday, Freuchie’s first XI are due to host seventh placed Huntly at Freuchie Park.